Nothing good can last forever, and this is especially true with television. Ahead of Succession’s fourth season premiere next month, show-runner Jesse Armstrong confirmed that this run will be the last, marking the end of the series. It’s always been a given that the show would reach its conclusion eventually, but with this news, we know the end is nigh.
While the initial reaction to this news is gut-wrenching pain and a wave of preemptive mourning, there’s also the feeling that this is all for the best. It’s better to see Succession go out on its own terms, culminating on a high note, rather than muddle on and risk a severe decline in quality. Knowing when to call it quits on a series is always tricky to figure out, but for the most part, many go on too long, running on fumes and memories of the glory days. At this point, if Armstrong feels confident in his decision to conclude the Roys’ story, we really have no other choice but to trust him.
From a plot perspective, we’ve always known the mechanics of the series could not propel the story forever. There are only so many times we can watch Brian Cox’s inimitable Logan Roy ruthlessly decimate his kids and further delay his long-pending retirement. Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) can only go through much emotional turmoil, and Roman Roy’s (Kieran Culkin) streak as a sex pest will have to result in a lawsuit one of these days. From the very beginning, the show promised that someone will eventually have to step up and take the reins, and the power struggle will have to finally come to a close.
While it surely won’t be the last time we get to hear Strong wax on about his extensive acting methods, the show’s end does mean this will be the last time we see him fully embody fallen golden boy Kendall Roy and hear the stories of him terrorizing Cox with his intensity that come with that. As Strong recently said about bidding adieu to Kendall, “It will feel like a death, in a way.”
As the fourth season premieres next month, the show’s days are truly numbered. From the get-go, Succession has had an incredible run, solidifying HBO’s claim over prestige television, accruing critical acclaim, and spurring the valuable creation of Kendall and Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) fan-cams. The drama has dominated the Emmys year after year, and it will be exciting to see the cast and crew walk away with—fingers crossed—one more sweep.
Succession’s end also serves as a reminder to cherish what you have when you have it, and I plan on savoring these Sunday nights of live tweeting all the way ‘til the end. See you March 26.